Wednesday December 12 2018
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Basketball: Defensive Fundamentals

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The basic fundamentals for solid defensive basketball start with the player’s body position. Proper balance and the ability to move in any direction are essential.

Players should be in a low stance with backside out and their knees bent. The feet should be spaced about shoulder-width apart with one foot “splitting the other in half” (one foot slightly behind the other). Weight should be on the balls of the feet as opposed to the heels, and the players' center of gravity should be over the feet – not too far up or too far back. Maintaining a good athletic position and good balance will allow defenders to move quickly. Many times kids will run at the ball with a high center of gravity; they then cannot get their balance back and offensive players are able to easily go around them.

Once players are in a good defensive stance, they need to learn how to glide and move their feet. It is as important to have a good first step defensively as it is offensively.

Players will want to push and glide without hitting their feet together, working in quick choppy steps. Simple defensive slide drills--quick quarter turns to work on quick feet--are good, as are drills that have players move their feet side to side and front to back.

Both hands should be in position to guard the basketball, and one hand should be prepared to defend the shooter. Defenders should keep their eyes on both the player they are guarding and the basketball. When the ball moves, players should jump to the ball. When the player the defender is guarding does not have possession of the ball, the defender should envision a straight line that runs from the ball to their man. Defenders should stand slightly behind that “line,” looking straight ahead so that they see the ball and their man in their peripheral vision.

Led by a historic ground campaign, the Panthers humiliated Virginia Tech, running their way to a 52-22 demolition of the Hokies Saturday afternoon at Heinz Field, maintaining first place in the Coastal division.
Feature OneOn CampusPress RoomTop Story
CHARLOTTESVILLE — With an opportunity to separate itself in the race for the ACC Coastal title, the Virginia football team failed to overcome myriad mental and physical errors and its depleted defense was unable to hold up in the second half of a 23-13 loss to Pittsburgh on a soggy Friday night.
Feature ThreeOn CampusPress RoomTop Story
Casey DeSmith stopped all 39 shots he faced, while Sidney Crosby racked up a goal and an assist as the Penguins dominated Arizona in a 4-0 shutout win at PPG Paints Arena Saturday night.
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NEW YORK (AP) — After setting a career high for points last season, Josh Bailey has picked up right where he left off. Bailey scored a short-handed goal in the second period and then the only goal in a shootout to lift the New York Islanders over the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on Thursday night.
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